Thursday, January 5, 2012

LMAO ... It's Not that Easy to Write Funny ... or Maybe It is

The thing about writing funny scenes (for me) is that I can't force the humor. If you stand there and tell me, "Be funny now," I'll stare at you with one of those blank deer looks. In fact, I would be terrible if someone asked me to write in a group and make it funny. Again, blank, uncomfortable stare on my face and absolutely no idea. Yet throw me in a situation where human behavior takes place at random, and I become the narrator of the place. Better yet, do something annoying, and I don't get annoyed, I just make a string of quips. When I'm writing humorous material, I have to be left alone with my quirky mind to run amok on the page. What truly amazes me is when I start a scene and the material evolves on its own without a direct push from my logical thinking.

Here is one of my favorite jokes from the script Beauty School. Let me set the scene, our resident fool Bo is attempting to do a little girl's hair with some funny consequences from his own ineptness.

Bo has turned the little girl’s hair straight and bright yellow, the color of urine.

(Shrieks) it looks like piss!

ELC strides over and punches Bo’s arm to which he WHINES. 

BO: Ow!

ELC Fool! You weren’t supposed to dye no hair today.

The attention attracts Petee and Jet. They both point and GIGGLE like little school girls. Bo turns toward them and YELLS.

Get out of here you Tinkerbells.

Petee puts both hands on his hips.

Well, Tink rocked great yellow
hair. Not like ... like that ... pee-colored mess you made.

He then pleadingly looks at ELC.

What's great about that scene is I didn't think the joke out. I just let it happened. The minute Bo calls our resident gay friend a Tinkerbell, and we already had the yellow hair, the joke was just begging to be said. I can't exactly dissect how I worked that out. It just organically evolved from the situation and my twisted mind. 

In my opinion, there is nothing funnier than a great one-liner. A potent, powerful and hilarious one-liner is completely unforgettable. Here is another amusing scene (all from a great one-liner) from the upcoming book We're All Dead.

“Shut up! It’s your job to know these things … brother!” I hissed at him. “We can’t let these putrid zombies kill our food supply. They’ve already infected half the human race. What do you suppose will happen when there are no humans left you walking, talking idiot?”

“But we’re immortal,” he said with a vacant stare.

“We’ll starve and live forever hungry and irritable like I am now! Always! It will be immortality and low blood sugar.”

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